Afshan Yasmeen

MLAs, former Mayors and Ministers vying for the plum post

  • Under the Mayor-in-Council system, people will directly elect the Mayor
  • The new scheme will bring in more accountability

    BANGALORE: The State Government's proposal to put in place a

    "Mayor-in-Council" system for the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike's (BBMP) maiden Council has raised the political aspirations of several former Mayors, legislators and even Ministers.

    Though the delimitation exercise is yet to be completed, most of them have reportedly started hectic lobbying to garner support and impress upon their party leadership to give them a chance to make it for the plum "Mayor-in-Council" post. A few have already started hosting cocktail parties and dinners to woo their party members and leaders.

    Under the "Mayor-in-Council" system, people will directly elect the Mayor for a period of five years. The Mayor will have all executive powers almost similar to those vested with the Chief Minister.

    The proposal being discussed for the last four years is most likely to be implemented in the maiden BBMP Council, elections to which will be held in the next few months. The Public Affairs Committee, which has prepared a paper on "Greater Bangalore Governance Option" has also proposed such a system . According to it, the new scheme, if implemented, will empower the Mayor and also bring in more accountability. Such a system is being followed in Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai. Though the Brihan Mumbai Corporation too has a similar system, the term of the Mayor is two and half years there.

    "If directly elected by the people, the Mayor will be answerable to them. There will be no question of allocation of more funds to a particular ward because the Mayor represents it," M. Ramchandrappa, a former Mayor, said.

    "Though a petition for increase in the Mayoral term from one year to 20 months or in co-terminus with the five-year term of the Council is pending with the Supreme Court, it would be very appropriate for the Government to implement this system now by amending the required Act," P.R. Ramesh, another former Mayor, said.

    Both these people admitted that they were contenders for the post .

    Congress sources said that some MLAs who were corporators in the past are vying for the post. These include V. Somanna, Ramalinga Reddy, K. Chandrashekar and N.L. Narendra Babu.

    While the Janata Dal (Secular) members leave it to their party supremo and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda to decide on the candidature, most senior corporators confessed to having a desire to contest for the coveted post.